Google, which says it doesn’t underpay women, may not have to reveal as much as the U.S. government seeks

Eileen Naughton, Google’s VP for People Operations Cindy Ord / Getty

A federal court in California moved on Friday to spare Google from turning over a trove of information about its employees to the U.S. government as the feds continue to investigate whether the tech giant underpays its female workers.

Since January, Google has resisted a demand by the Department of Labor that it share data — including the complete salary history and contact information for more than 21,000 employees — as part of a probe into potential “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” the government previously has argued.

Google has repeatedly rejected those allegations, while arguing in court that the Labor Department’s requests for data are onerous and would jeopardize the privacy of Google’s employees. Administrative Law Judge Steven Berlin on Friday agreed; in his ruling, he sought to impose limits on the government’s request — a recommendation that will become final unless federal lawyers seek an appeal.


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